Londoners fined for parking in their own driveways

This story is more English than the Queen taking tea in the great cabin of HMS Victory.

Residents of a Southwest London neighborhood are up in arms after receiving a series of fines for parking on their own property in early September.

According to The Telegraph, residents of Cadogan Road in Surbiton in southwest London received parking tickets on Friday, September 9 for parking in their own driveways. Believing it was little more than a bureaucratic cock-up, those who were ticketed ignored the £110 ($142.61) fine went about their business. Then they got another ticket on Saturday. And another on Monday.

"It is bemusing," David Gilbert, one of the ticketed residents, told the Surrey Comet. "After the first one I thought it was obviously some kind of mistake and would be easily sorted out. Then the fines just kept on coming."

The confused residents approached Kingston Council, their local governmental entity, to dispute the charges and find out what was going on. When they did so, they were told to take it up with parking services to prove that they had not been parked illegally through official channels.

"When you try and talk to someone at the council they tell you to talk to parking services, but they just tell you that you have been photographed parking illegally and you will have to contest it like everyone else," said Gilbert. "I'm essentially being fined £110 a day for parking in my own driveway."

It seems that all the confusion stems from the fact that the residents' homes are on one street, but the driveways, which are behind the houses, are on another street. The residents have permits to park on the street their house faces, but not on the street behind their house where their driveways are. Thanks to surprising new parking laws, the short driveways are considered " crossovers" and therefore part of the street. This means that, although the residents technically own their driveways, they cannot park in them legally because they are part of another street.

After some exceedingly English, passive-aggressive back and forth between the Surbiton residents and Kingston Council, the Council rescinded the fines but stood their ground with the following statement.

"A Crossing over the verge, even where constructed, construes no form of ownership."

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